Smart Healthy Women Website

Websites

Smart Healthy Women Website logo

The challenges of setting up a ‘Blissful’ business

From: Smart Healthy Women

Zoë Watson - Founder of Bliss Sanctuary for Women - Health & Relaxation Retreat in Bali

Zoë Watson – Founder of Bliss Sanctuary for Women – Health & Relaxation Retreat in Bali

One of the most common questions I am asked as the Founder of Bliss Sanctuary For Women, the first of-its-kind women’s only retreat situated in Bali, is “what were the biggest challenges of setting up a new business in a foreign country?”

To be honest, everything was a challenge.

And while every day I believe I have the most ‘blissful job in the world’, I am certainly not going to sugar coat the whole experience as ‘pure Bliss’. Pardon the puns.

I came up with the idea to open the Sanctuary after my own ‘travelling solo’ experience. With a career in media marketing I had certainly never opened up a brand new business, certainly not a women’s only retreat, in Bali!

Yet within two weeks of returning from my trip to Bali in November 2010, I had the business and marketing plan done and then the ball starting rolling at high speed:

  • December 2010 – gave 3 months notice from Media Marketing Role
  • mid-February 2011 – returned to Bali to find Villa
  • mid-February 2011 (3 days later) – found Villa, started renovating
  • 11 April 2011 – moved to Bali permanently
  • 1 May 2011 – opened Bliss Sanctuary for Women

I literally had no time to think or to stop and ask myself “what on earth am I doing?”

Of course there was no textbook on ‘How To’ open up a brand new business in a foreign country. So my attitude was that I would give it a red-hot go with no emotional investment on whether it worked or not.

I took it all day by day.

I am not a person to get caught up in logistics, I go with the flow and Bali teaches that more than anyone or anywhere else in the world (i.e. the phrase ‘Bali Time’!)

I also wasn’t invested in being perfect, just in doing my best.

I found my villa in three days! This was nothing short of a miracle. I asked everyone I met if they knew of villas, read the local paper and started calling and walking into Real Estate Agents. I’d done my research and worked out what I wanted, what I wanted to pay and I found it!

Setting up a business is not one act of ‘setting up a business’ – it’s doing something, discovering something else you need to do and doing that, speaking to others about how they’ve done things, and for me it’s looking outside the square. And this is probably one of my keys to my success. I aim to make everything unique in some special way.

There are big learnings in different countries, and some more than others. So I just jumped in feet first and learnt as I went. After designing the way I wanted to do business internationally, I thoroughly researched laws in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong. The Hong Kong laws suited my business plan for fast future growth so I ended up opening the ‘company’ there.

Business and law is never black and white and as with anything, I just did my best and hoped for the best. As do most of the richest people in the world… they usually make the rules and forge ahead with new ground and learn from their mistakes. I take my cues in this area from Richard Branson and Donald Trump.

One can never be aware of all the challenges we will face in setting up a business, but that’s what gets my adrenalin pumping, looking for different ways of doing things and asking as many questions as possible of anyone willing to share.

I had an idea of the challenges I thought I would face and while some of these were much easier to navigate through, many more unforeseeable things constantly kept popping up.

It’s not in what happens it’s in the attitude of getting through it – not expecting it to be easy but being open to new perspectives (including religious, cultural and differing values of those we are doing business with) and losing the First World arrogance that we know best!Balinese Temple Offering

Bliss - food image from Smart Healthy Women website featureHumility is very important, coupled with self-confidence, inner strength, and personal power and the ability to listen and understand what is important.

Another question I am often asked is ‘What advice would you give to someone setting up a business in Bali, or some other foreign land?” and my answer is always simple.

Get to understand the values of the Balinese people (or other culture) and respect the things we don’t hold in high esteem, but they do. And of course, try to find a few key trustworthy people who you can count on.

Universally it seems to be that staff are the absolute hardest and most challenging part to managing a business. So that is what I focused on and it has worked wonders for us having staff who LOVE everything about Bliss and put their heart mind and soul into everything we have all created together.

The biggest personal challenges were:

  • my health (I was extremely sick a month before I left)
  • due to my absence from Australia for long periods of time, the breakdown of what I thought were close friendships
  • learning patience when renovating a villa and that everything will turn up late and not quite right. In the end I just laughed and accepted it and sent things back with the expectation it would probably have to be sent back again!

I don’t believe you make ‘mistakes’ in life, they are lessons learned.

My biggest lesson, in hindsight, was thinking that once I had set everything up I could walk away and let someone else run the business just as I had. It seems I was literally doing the job of six people!

But did I ever feel like giving up? No.

Was there ever a moment when I thought Bliss Sanctuary for Women wouldn’t be possible? No! It’s never whether something can be done in my mind… it’s HOW.

And that is why I continue to have ‘the most blissful job in the world’.

Zoë Watson.

August 2013

Bliss Sanctuary For Women, empowering women to travel solo with a tailored Bali retreat holiday just for you.

Follow your bliss your way with an experience completely tailored to you. More than a retreat for women, it’s your personal time out for rejuvenation and wellness. This Bali holiday is free of group schedules so you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. From unlimited sightseeing, unlimited massages, unlimited yoga, meditation, healers, plentiful and yummy food, shopping, personal drivers to take you anywhere you would like to go…  it’s all up to you.

Check out our Bali Packages and remember they are all completely flexible so you can change anything you would like once here.

We would love to meet you!

Bliss Media

  • Venus Magazine

    Venus Magazine

    When a stressed out and exhausted Zoe Watson needed a break from the daily grind she headed to the tropical …
  • Cosmopolitan Website

    Cosmopolitan Website

    The hardest part is finding someone to take your Instagram photos...
  • New Idea Magazine

    New Idea Magazine

    Find Your Bliss in Bali - New Idea Associate Editor Holly Richards swapped deadlines for massages at this women-only retreat.
  • Label Magazine

    Label Magazine

    Be your best with Bliss. More than a yoga retreat or healthy holiday, Bliss Sanctuary for Women sets its sights …
  • Signature Luxury Travel Magazine

    Signature Luxury Travel Magazine

    Bali’s Healing Magic. On the ‘Island of the Gods’, healing through both the physical and spiritual is a natural way …
  • Hospitality Interiors Magazine

    Hospitality Interiors Magazine

    The retreat us ideally situated in a tranquil cul-de-sac, yet with the area's famed shopping, restaurants and beautiful beaches in …
  • Black Beauty & Hair Magazine

    Black Beauty & Hair Magazine

    With spring being the season of blossoming and renewing, doesn't the idea of retreating to discover yourself sound appealing?
  • Natural Health Magazine

    Natural Health Magazine

    The Bliss Sanctuary For Women in Bali offers proper pampering for mums and daughters this Mother's Day - think deep …
  • Good Housekeeping Magazine

    Good Housekeeping Magazine

    A yoga break can restore your mind, body and soul like nothing else. However much time you have to spare, …
  • Bella Magazine

    Bella Magazine

    Prepare yourself for the most pampering holiday of your life. Blissful days - Bliss Sanctuary For Women is one special …
  • Bloc Magazine

    Bloc Magazine

    Responding to world travel trends, Bliss Sanctuary offers more than a breathtaking Bali retreat – it’s a sanctuary.
  • Modern Spa Magazine

    Modern Spa Magazine

    This Bliss Sanctuary For Women has launched a second relaxation sanctuary, in Seminyak, Bali. Founder Zoë Watson tells us whar's …
  • Ahlan! Magazine

    Ahlan! Magazine

    Working out suddenly doesn't seem such an effort when you do it in paradise.
  • Soul & Spirit Magazine

    Soul & Spirit Magazine

    The Best Female-Only Retreats. Travel unaccompanied to these sanctuaries of relaxation without feeling alone.
  • Woman & Home Magazine

    Woman & Home Magazine

    A Holiday Just For Me – I’d always dreamed of a relaxing escape and on a whim I booked a …
  • Closer Magazine

    Closer Magazine

    Josie Gibson: I get “fat fear” and weigh myself every day.
  • Woman Magazine

    Woman Magazine

    I Felt Relaxed and Refreshed. Sipping a cocktail by the pool, I felt the sun warm my skin. I was …
  • Madison Magazine

    Madison Magazine

    What Comes Next - For these women, a severe life setback was the catalyst that set them free, Sophie Miura …
  • Escape Magazine

    Escape Magazine

    Women’s Retreat Is Ultimate Bliss. Ladies, forget the Kuta rat-race and discover a serene sanctuary where it’s all about you.
  • Cleo Magazine

    Cleo Magazine

    If you think Bali is all about beer, braids and bogans then think again, says Jessica Martin.
Bliss in the Media
For all media enquiries please contact Cathy Jackson at Grays Public Relations +61 412 515 819 or cathy@grayspr.com.au
Bliss in the Media on FacebookBliss in the Media on InstagramBliss in the Media on PinterestBliss in the Media on TwitterBliss in the Media on Youtube

Share the Bliss